Richard III – Loyaulté me lie # 02

If Richard III – Loyaulté me lie started in a psychiatric institution, it actually sprung from a presage: a historical “coincidence” that acquired a very particular importance for Jean Lambert-wild, in relation to this piece that has been haunting him for years. Indeed, such a coincidence is particularly strange: our determination to bring to fruition this project, a decision we took in 2013, concurred with the discovery in Leicester of the remains of the real Richard III.

What are the implications of such an event for our work, fortuitous coincidence aside? The implications are an avalanche of confrontational identities, the breadth of which we are starting to measure as rehearsals go by. For instance: Richard III, the Shakespearian hero, handing himself over to his historical remains; the play text’s evil usurper, now facing his own skeleton, excavated from the tarmac of a city centre car park. And last but not least, an actor confronted with the corpse of a character whose fictionalised life he is interpreting. From there, it is a resolutely metaphysical experience that we witness, with an actor gazing upon the bones of the body he is about to personify. 

What we achieve with this is an astonishing mirror effect, which makes the head spin. Jean Lambert-wild and Elodie Bordas, the duet that furiously embodies this confrontation of Richard with others and with himself – “Myself upon myself” – acquires a vast and resolutely meta-theatrical quality. This affects the characters, but also History and the performers themselves. After a while, one starts wondering who is usurping whose identity? Is it the fictional tyrant Richard III, who, in the story, is depicted as a usurper? Shakespeare, who appropriated the identity of a historical figure? The actor and his clown, who impersonate Richard the character? And, possibly, the actor, himself usurped by his role?

In the end, King Richard III’s villainy seems on a par with the villainy of the actor who embodies and interprets the role of Richard. It is also on a par with the villainy of the clown, who disfigures as he reveals. Jean Lambert-wild went to pay homage to the real Richard III by going to see his coffin. Having returned, he is going to bring him to life again, on stage, and finally cry out: “I am a villain – no, this is a lie, I am not a villain!”.


From these multiple dualities, from these shifting identities, the “I” burst open. “Richard loves Richard, that is to say: Me and Me”. On a visual level, this is reflected in the set we will use, shaped a little like a merry-go-round. On it: the projected images of ghosts, faces, shadows, where all is disguised and there are no landmarks: “Let’s escape. 

What, escape from myself? For what reason, In case I would seek revenge? What, me, from myself?”.

A question that came to us at the beginning of the process now resonates constantly: “what does Richard want?”. But the real question is: how can one still “want” when the subject who acts is dispossessed of oneself, splintered across space?

“My consciousness, my conscience speak a thousand different tongues,

And each one them tells a different story,

And each story condemns me as a villain.”  


Un clown, alité, face à son propre reflet, face à un double féminin qui se métamorphose, lui renvoyant l’image de...